Table Talk (OOC)

Btw, Ezechiel3571 told me about a magical ship that designed and commented at those forums.
Surely we can take some ideas from it :slight_smile:

Hermetic Projects suggests 18 pawns of vis to open a cog for enchantment (a Size +6 ship, manned by a crew of 12). Assuming we would want at least 120 levels of enchantments, that's another 12 pawns.

Standard price for verditius items is 3x the enchantment cost (we pay for the enchantment and twice as much for the work). That's 90 pawns. At least.

But, exact size of ship and enchantments of the ship will depend on what we want it to do... which I'm not very clear yet, to be honest. What is the idea?

My concern with buying a ship (or anything else) from Oculus is that, in the end, a sale is a sale, and nothing else. They don't need to sponsor us just because we are paying the regular price for a product. So, what exactly is the approach, if we go this way?

When I suggested 70 pawns of "tax" (bribe us such an ugly word... :stuck_out_tongue:) over 7 years I was just spitballing a value (10 pawns is how much vis per magus our sources generate (after paying the heirs), 7 years is one tribunal interval).

But to stand up to scrutiny the deal shouldn't be "we will pay X pawns for your votes", but something in the lines of "we would like to sponsor your activties of discovering if the Order of Odin exists, here is a small token of appreciation for your trouble".

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Bribing for votes/sponsorship is perfectly legal, hermetically speaking. Now I'm not sure if there is canon precedent for enforcement of such a contract/agreement ... but arguably an agreement to pay vis that isn't honored is deprivation of magical power. Since magical power is changing hands there is a case for hermetic crimes if such a deal isn't honored. But we don't need a pretext for bribing for votes as it were. There is no scrutiny on the fact that a deal was made and vis changed hands as a part of it. That isn't an unknown phenomenon even with a criminal case coming before Tribunal, for people to be engaging in political maneuvering and bribery for votes.

The point here to me is that we want to cut a good deal (for both of us) with them. The buying of something significant (ship or library additions or something) is just as valid an enticement for them, and gets us more in return is more my point.

We explicitly say, we are interested in making a large transaction with you, but we are perfectly capable of going somewhere else. We want a decent deal (but might be a little bit open to strong negotiation) but also explicitly sponsorship is part of the package. You don't sell 100+ pawn ships every day. There just aren't that many customers who can afford it, as well as want it. it is a not inconsiderable windfall for them. Plus the diplomatic prospect of being on good terms with a new Covenant in a highly political and intrigue filled Tribunal. It seems a reasonable approach/strategy with a good probability of success to me.

I'm not completely certain/settled. But we could perhaps open a thread to work on a design in more detail?

We have options and also ... should discuss different intended uses perhaps. What our goals are to be able to do with the ship.

At minimum if we invest in such a ship and it is a water traveling vessel I'd want it to be able to handle any/all problems involved with getting all the way up/down the Rhine/Birse to us. And up to Tugurium if we enhance the waterway enough. But that is only one potential design (a conventional water craft, augmented) ... we obviously could go an entirely different route.

Only technically. And even then, it depends.

“I will have one vote at Tribunal and I will use it prudently. I will respect as equal the votes of all others at Tribunal.”

From HoH:TL:

The provision also demands that magi use their vote prudently. Traditionalists interpret this as a duty to vote strictly according to an honest legal judgment. Voting to convict or acquit against a magus’s better legal judgment is a high crime. Anyone exposed as having accepted a bribe or other deal for his vote may be charged. The rigor with which this provision is enforced varies greatly.

Founding a new covenant is hardly a case serious enough to merit scrutiny from anyone (more yet considering there are few to none quaesitores on Rhine), but I wanted to leave it here that depending on who you are talking with and where you are voting, buying votes may well be illegal. Might even be part of Rhine's peripheral code, since Rhine is a traditionalist Tribunal. ; ]

It's reasonable, but unless we sweeten the deal for them, I'd not bet on the probability of success. I don't see Oculus as being desperate to sell (but maybe Regulus finds something on his research that suggests they are in high demand for vis to pay off a previous debt? In that case they could be desperate for vis, either a sizeable sale or as a gift).
The part about being in good terms with a covenant goes both ways, we also want to be in good terms with a strong mercantile covenant. Without a strong tie to them, it doesn't seem farfetched that Oculus requests something extra in exchange for their favor. It could be a story.... but it can easily be a few pawns. But I don't expect "prospect of future interactions" to cut it.

I think it's worthy, but I'd rather have a clear picture of the intended use before starting any design. I am failing to see value unless we want to dabble into transport and/or trade on the Birse/Rhine as an additional source of income for the covenant (I'm not against it, if that's the intention on the long run).

As with all things Hermetic, someone's gotta find out without resorting to Code breaking measures, then be willing to spend quite a bit of political capital to bring the matter up. Not saying it's not possible, just that it's highly unlikely in a situation like this. But I s'pose I see such 'payments' as part and parcel to life in the Order. Everyone knows they're bribes, but nobody does anything about them because let's face it, there's money to be made.

I dunno, I guess I see it differently? f you were asking someone to make you a Pilum wand, yeah, no, it's just another order. But an order this size is a big honking deal. I mean come on, you're making 60+ pawns in profit. That's quite literally as much as a lot of mages will make in almost two decades. So yeah, this is the sort of thing that you likely only pull off once or twice in a career, and it's going to make a name for you. And we all know how much the Verdi love this sort of one-upsmanship.

That said, I think if nothing else, the mercantile angle is a good one. I'm actually working on a companion for @Vortigern that is a Venetian capo style character who I think could be quite useful in that regard. But I digress.

Yes... trade... I mean nobody said Belisarius had to pay for the goods that we end up trading, right? Seriously though, I agree that we'll want to clearly want to figure out what this would be for. Besides it simply being awesome that is.

As an aside, I think we will want to figure out how the covenant plans on supporting the new influx of magi. Gonna need to get some more staff, and consequently, funds.

About the magical ship, it comes down to a few things. What do we want it for? Can the covenant afford it? If so, what level of priority do we give it?

Which reminds me that we need more vis sources to be fleshed out (contributions of the troupe are welcome). And that I need to create a tracker for how much vis the covenant has through the years.

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I've made a proposal for the vis sources a couple months ago, but it's still on a preliminary stage. I was hoping for input of other people, specially in regards to location, but I do have ideas on how to distribute the vis in terms of flavors and amount. I can go ahead with it if needed be.

For a tracker I was thinking that a shared spreadsheet might be the easiest way to organize.

I'm ready to run both 1206 ??? - Blooming Alpine Weather and 1207 Summer - Hunting with Telsbergs as soon as all characters are suitably advanced through the seasons (for the first one) and Tribunal has ended (for the second).

1206 ???? - Blooming Alpine Weather
The magi are tasked by the Ash gild with visiting an archmagus in the Alps and requesting a copy of his latest spell. The archmagus, however, has a small task that he needs to see completed in exchange for the copy.

The story should involve a tiny bit of diplomacy, some travelling trough the mountains, and a quest for an item. It can involve combat (if the magi have no strong desire to live).

  • Magi: Vorsutus and/or Belisarius
  • Companions: ???
  • Grogs: ???

1207 Summer - Hunting with Telsbergs
Otto Telsberg wants his youngest son, Rudolph, to get closer to Clusius, and arranged for the magus scholar to be invited to a hunt with their family.
It's an opportunity to get everyone together and have some fun time hunting hares... However, there's a sucession thing ongoing in the Telsberg family... Not that Rudolph is fit to be the next burgraff anyway... and also, he dislikes Clusius. And surely some other members of the Telsberg household will be attending?
What could possibly go wrong?

The story should involve some hunting with dogs, and provide more insight on the Telsberg family. It's also an opportunity to subtly support Rudolph (by magical or mundane means)... or someone else.

  • Magi: Clusius. Also suitable for a gentle gifted magus (Alba, Belisarius?).
  • Companions: ???
  • Grogs: A suitable team of servants, hunters.. dog trainers and dogs, if Tugurium has any. Also, maybe Astro (a horse that believes he is a dog)?
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I think that you meant Celeste :stuck_out_tongue: But Alba can be a great hunter in a pinch xD (and if we want a bishoujo hunting all the hares with a "i have no idea of what im doing" face, Alba is our maga xD)


Belisarius should be getting his last five seasons posted here today, so it'll just be the matter of hammering out his familiar, and he'll be good to go!

Yuuuup. I'll need to sit down and chat with you about how Belisarius plans on inserting himself into all of this sometime in the near future. Preferably before this gets into full swing! Thankfully we need to get through Tribunal first, so there's some time still.

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I will try and make some time to write some material for this, but it is challenging just now.

I am certain that Vorsutus will want to be involved with this one. Also Benetto and Halfdan, and probably Thorsten.

With Thorsten there ... plenty of excitement! Not what I think Thorsten would say however.

"Wait, rabbits? Why are we going again? How old is this heir, thirteen? Rabbits only make sport for boys. I'd better bring something to drink."

If you've meant Celeste, then yes, she would do on the hunt. Not because she likes hunting, or cares about it, but because fostering relations with the Telsbergs is important. And she can use her magic to gain greater insight into those participating.

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Catching up here folks. I've been heavily distracted with getting ready to sell the house and packing to move, and school. Glad to have some time today to focus on things. If I forget anything ... trust me it is me and not you, so please remind me.


I think a longship or knarr of virtue would be fine by me? Something mobile and usable on rivers and the sea both. And suitable for doing some trading and/or adventuring/combat. We can do any and all such things. And it doesn't need to be seriously enchanted. Or to have any invested devices attached etc. I'm not afraid to learn/invent some spells to help do things with a ship. And if we build a collection of such spells as lab texts anyone who wants to can do similar things with not too much investment.

I would rather put the preponderance of this purchase towards expansion of the library instead, and it would be an expenditure that would more clearly benefit all of us over time rather than have some feel they we were heavily investing in something they are not interested in.


Where is appropriate to post such correspondence?

Why do you worry so much about rivers if we can have a flying ship? Maybe its not a priority after all :open_mouth: And i'd say that looking like a viking wouldn't be a good think too ^^! I mean... they murder and plunder villages, aren't exactly heroes for the common people here.

We really need ships so big? 30 meters long the first and 16 meters the second. I mean, yeah, we can trade, but... what? Unless i missed something, in Tugurium we aren't producing big amounts of trade goods. Maybe a smaller ship (thus, much cheaper to enchant) would be enough for our needs. It would also be easier to store/hide it when we arent using it.

And, how do you have a longship/knarr of virtue? I can see the wood used to built it being "of virtue" but the ship by itself im not sure how it can be. And whats the benefit?

All the other things that you told are great in my book :slight_smile: Alba would also make some spells if we have/want a magic ship.

It's been suggested that the ship be valuable enough that the ongoing vis payments to Oculus Septentrionalis would justify them supporting Tugurium's candidacy for inclusion into the Rhine Tribunal. A bare-bone ship is unlikely to meet the minimum for that? Unless you want to overpay for the ship (a hidden bribe)?

Of course, the purchase of the ship can be arranged for a later time, but this would mean some other reason would be needed to entice Oculus to support Tugurium.

I don't want/need those correspondence to be fully fleshed out, just noted somewhere. So perhaps in the Advancement log of your character?

I'm thinking that each season of correspondence on a subject would grant 1 xp towards purchasing a tractatus on that subject. The xp cost of the tractatus would be what is needed to purchase its Quality as if it was an Art, with a maximum Quality equal to the average of the correspondent's Com + 6 total.

So Vorsutus has a Com +1 (so total of 7) and corresponds with Alba, who has Com +3 and Good Teacher (so total of 12). The maximum Quality of their correspondence tractatus would be 10. It will take 55 xp to accumulate enough correspondence to reach that maximum.

So it will be a slow process. I'm not certain how many correspondences like that you can contribute in a given season. Certainly no more than 3. Perhaps tie it to the Com score?

That large expenditure could be anything, including (previously discussed in this thread I believe) investments in the library made by a similar agreement for purchasing a quantity of books from Oculus. So the proposal for a ship is one thing (and I don't hate it at all) but if library purchases are more palatable all around I certainly don't hate those either. If it would serve the purpose equally well (a diplomatically large enough purchase) then that aspect of the plan doesn't seem impacted.

I'd be open to other ideas for things to buy for that matter. But I don't think it really matters what we buy as long as it is in quantity and/or of sizable total value and from them.

An interesting idea!

I will clarify my expectations about the design of familiars here, because that is not something that applies to a single player or character.

When a player proposes a magical animal that will eventually be bound as a familiar, I want to see the following steps:

  1. The stats it would have as a mundane animal. If possible, use one of the mundane animals already described in the Book of Mundane Beasts (RoP:M p.140 and HoH:MC p.40) as a base. If an already-defined animal is close to the one you are aiming at, use that and tweak it a little. For example, a crow or raven wouldn't be very much different from a falcon -- the crow is a bit smaller (while a raven might have the same Size), switch a few qualities around (Crafty and Vocal instead of Keen Eyesight and Pursuit Predator). When you make such changes, explain them.
  2. The detailed and explicit process of turning the mundane animal into a magical animal (concept, season, unmodified Might, etc.) Since this is now a magical animal, the magical animal must have the virtues, flaws, and abilities of the mundane animal before we get to add more. They must still be paid for, but they are mandatory. For the rest of the selections, explain each choice as you go.

Step 1 should be validated and agreed upon before proceeding to step 2.
At the beginning of step 2, check with the troupe on your assumptions and decisions before proceeding with detailed selection of magical qualities and inferiorities, and again for the design of magical powers. Concept becomes very important for those.

Here's an example. Clusius might be interested in binding a magical Rottweiler. Luckily for me, there are already stats for a Hound.

Characteristics: Cun 0, Per +2, Pre –4, Com 0, Str 0, Sta +2, Dex +1, Qik +2
Size: 0
Confidence Score: 0
Virtues and Flaws: Improved Characteristics, Long-Winded, Sharp Ears, Reckless
Qualities: Domesticated, Keen Sense of Smell, Pack Animal, Pursuit Predator, Vocal
Personality Traits: Loyal +3, Reckless +3, Brave +2
Combat: Bite: Init +2, Attack +8, Defense +7, Damage +1
Soak: +2
Fatigue Levels: OK, 0/0, –1, –3, –5, Unconscious
Wound Penalties: –1 (1–5), –3 (6–10), –5 (11–15), Incapacitated (16–20), Dead (21+)
Abilities: Athletics 3 (distance running), Awareness 3 (keeping watch), Brawl 3 (bite), Hunt 4 (track by scent)
Natural Weapons: The weapon statistics for a dog’s bite are Init 0, Atk +3, Def +1, Dam +1.

Now, the Rottweiler is known for its powerful jaw, so I might make a case for adding the Large Teeth quality. It is also a tough fighter, so I could suggest adding the Tough (or Enduring Constitution) virtue balanced with the Oversensitive flaw (against those displaying agressivity towards their master).

But the troupe may judge these to be unecessary. After all, the description for the Hound already states that such large dogs include the Rottweiler.

Then I would proceed with turning the mundane animal into a magical one. I would propose switching out the Pack Animal mundane quality in favour of Pack Leader. That makes sense and comes free. Meaning a "free" obligation to purchasing 1 more point of Com and Leadership 5 in the design of the magical animal -- I still pay for those!

With those changes, the basic Abilities package of a Hound would cost my magical animal 215 xp. The Hound already has 3 virtues and 1 flaw, so I am limited in my additional choices. As a grog-level character this means I need to pick 2 more flaws and cannot add additional virtues. If this was a companion-level character then I could pick up to 4 more virtues and flaws. I also add the free virtue Magical Animal.

As a concept, I decide that this Rottweiler was one of the first to be breeded by the Romans when they came to Germany, its father having been matched by a local dog into a superior breed of guard dogs. It was lost to the Romand during a battle in a magical regio that it was unable to escape after the Roman legion it was with was massacred in the Black Forest. Its ongoing exposure to the magic of the regio slowly transformed it into a magical creature, gaining intelligence and eventually escaping the regio. It has gathered stray dogs over the years, forming a pack that roams the forests of Germany, moving from place to place.

I decide this is a grog-level character, so I add the flaws Wrathful (minor) and Craving for Travel (Grogs p.78). I also decide on a Might of 5, the "standard" Might for a grog-level magical creature in a High-powered saga. Considering the need for enough xp to purchase the basic Abilities package of the mundane animal, I must select at least Summer as a season (up to 360 xp). I make a case that the hound could very well be at Autumn (up to 720 xp), being one of the direct descendant of the hounds brought by the Romans centuries ago. The troupe decides that my case for it being Autumn is a bit weak, but finally agrees.

And then I move on to magical qualities and inferiorities. What makes sense for this magical hound? Perhaps Animal Resistance, Improved Attack, Improved Soak, Lesser Power and Minor Virtue (Reserves of Strength). I also select the Susceptible to Deprivation magical inferiority, which allows me to add a Personal Power.

All I need to do now is decide what powers make sense for a magical hound...


If I may add, one might check the Animals of Mythic Europe pdf, for a compilation of all official and some fan made animals. For example, it has a raven.